TD Ameritrade Urges Their Clients to be Cautious About Legal Pot Stocks


Canada’s federal legalization of cannabis and the continued expansion of legal use in the United States have led to an explosion of interest in marijuana investments, this year especially. But the U.S. brokerage firm TD Ameritrade is warning their clients and investors in general to be cautious about legal cannabis stocks. In a video posted on the firm’s YouTube channel in late September, TD Ameritrade highlights the risks and acknowledges the seductive appeal of investing in marijuana. Many who’ve observed the cannabis market’s recent volatility feel TD Ameritrade is offering sound advice. Others say the bullish trends of the market are real and that TD Ameritrade is playing it too safe.

TD Ameritrade Video Warns Investors Against Straying Into The “Wild West” of Cannabis Stocks

Cannabis is rapidly moving from the black market to the stock market. But one investment firm is warning, not so fast. TD Ameritrade is urging investors to be cautious and do their homework before buying stock in cannabis companies. Their reasoning is simple: the market still carries significant risks.

The firm’s video begins with a brief history of legalization in North America. It then presents viewers with an image of the North American Marijuana Index which tracks cannabis companies’ stock prices and market capitalization, showing how the value of the index has nearly tripled since its 2015 inception. In short, the setup makes clear why so many investors are attracted to the cannabis industry. Its potential for growth is undeniable.

Then, the other shoe falls. The video says everything that’s exciting about the cannabis industry also suggests it’s a market bubble. It draws parallels between the cryptocurrency frenzy of 2017, the housing market bubble of 2008 and even the bubble of the early aughts. The bottom line, TD Ameritrade’s video seems to claim, is that the excitement around the industry is overlooking its uncertain regulatory future. And that leads to extreme volatility and in turn, high risk for investors.

Can TD Ameritrade’s Words of Warning Dissuade Young Investors

Exhibit A in TD Ameritrade’s case against cannabis investing is September’s rollercoaster ride for the Canadian marijuana company Tilray. Tilray was the first Canadian cannabis producer to raise capital through an IPO on the NASDAQ. So when trading went public in July at about $17 per share, Tilray’s stock price shot up to $300 per share by mid-September. But almost as quickly, Tilray gave up those gains. The stock was so volatile, in fact, that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) halted Tilray’s trading five times in a single day.

The SEC also issued an investor alert on marijuana investments and fraud in early September. And these, TD Ameritrade says, are signs that it may be prudent to hold off on significant cannabis investments until the industry matures. Yet it’s not clear whether investors, especially young ones, will heed the firm’s warnings.

Cannabis stocks are attracting young investors in droves. And it’s not only because legalization a generation-defining issue. Fee-free trading apps like Robinhood and TD Ameritrade’s own platform have made it easier than ever for young investors to buy cannabis stocks online. And they aren’t wrong, according to famous short seller Andrew Left. Left acknowledges that it’s hard to tell the difference between real players in the marijuana sector and fly-by-night scammers. But at the same time, he’s convinced the growth is real and here to stay.

So before you invest, make sure to do your homework. Research any company you’re considering investing in. Look up reports and SEC filings—anything you can find. There are also red flags that should dissuade you from investing. These include SEC suspensions, hyped up press releases and company insiders holding large amounts of stock.

What You Need to Know About Canada’s Cannabis Act


Yesterday was a historic day for Canadians, as the Cannabis Act passed through the Senate after two years of intense debate. The landmark decision makes Canada the first G-7 country to legalize cannabis recreationally, with the first legal stores expected to open by September.

The bill passed on a vote 52 to 29, with several opposing Senators cited concerns that legalization for non-medical cannabis violated the UN drug control treaties.  Yet despite heated opposition, Bill C-45 is now making its way into law and is expected to come into effect 8-12 weeks after Royal Assent which is expected by the week’s end.

Independent Senator Tony Dean who sponsored the bill was elated celebrating the end of cannabis prohibition in Canada, “We have seen in the Senate tonight a historic vote that ends 90 years of prohibition of cannabis in this country, 90 years of needless criminalization, 90 years of a just-say-no approach to drugs that hasn’t worked.” Dean emphasized, “I’m proud of Canada today. This is progressive social policy.”

Amendments that were originally proposed by the Senate were struck down by the House of Commons, could have been disastrous for the industry. Originally, the Senate had proposed a ban on all cannabis swag, including t-shirts and tote bags and attempted to reinforce the province’s ability to ban homegrown cannabis.  Under the Cannabis Act, every Canadian can grow up to 4 plants which certain Senators complained would increase children’s access to cannabis. Senators ironically also attempted to decriminalize adults giving their children cannabis as young as age 16.


The Senate has also originally proposed disclosure of foreign investment, as millions of dollars poured into float Canadian cannabis companies from offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands. These amendments were struck down by the House of Commons and did not make it to the final version of the bill, which led to a suspenseful voting session at the Senate after the stock markets closed for the day.

An Economic Boon

Not passing the bill would have been disastrous for Canadian economy, but now Canadian cannabis stocks expected to soar as soon as the markets open leading up into legalization. Shortly after the bill passed, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted #PromiseKept, “It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that.”

As trade wars between Canada and the US amp up, legalizing cannabis federally means that Canadian licensed producers can import and export for medical and scientific purposes, while US companies remained landlocked in legal states by federal prohibition.


Legalization for medical use occured in 2001 in Canada, with private companies expanding into cannabis starting in 2014 and growing into a robust industry now with over 100 licensed producers in 2018. Canada now boasts cannabis stocks as some of the highest traded, which are beginning to premier on the NASDAQ in 2018, while US cannabis penny stocks continue to fluctuate due to federal prohibition. It’s worth noting a lot of US cannabis brands have moved north with hopes of trading on the major exchanges, including MedMen, Dosist and Province Brands, with other companies licensing IP to Canadian companies including Dixie, Bhang, Greenhouse, O.PenVAPE, and many more.

While the first year of legalization in Canada products will be limited to dried flower and oil, Deepak Anand, Vice President of Government Relations at Cannabis Compliance Inc. was optimistic about diverse cannabis products being approved within a year of Royal Assent. “Health Canada has already started thinking about regulations surrounding forms of Cannabis not going to be legal on proclamation day.” On the retail side, he noted, “Provinces such as New Brunswick appeared far better prepared for a September legalization date when compared with BC or Ontario.”

While the west side of the country amps up for private retail, east of Ontario is primarily government retail outlets with potential for privatization as government swings right. Originally legalization was supposed to take place by July 1st on Canada Day but now is expected in September giving provinces more time for the rollout.


Justice, Freedom, and Cannabis

Despite the celebrations, many activists worry that legalization will ultimately leave out those who have most been affected by the war on drugs in Canada.  For those Canadians who have a criminal record for cannabis, there are no pardons proposed currently in the Cannabis Act. Having a criminal record or being suspected of breaking the law are grounds to deny someone a cannabis business license. Critics say that cannabis should take an equity perspective, especially with Canada’s massive diversity problem when it comes to cannabis. Health Canada is listening to criticism and recently announced that Indigenous cannabis applicants are being fast-tracked now to make up for the lack of diversity.

The new Cannabis Act includes micro-cultivation and micro-processors, which will be able to produce edibles, extracts and beverages by 2019. While marketing remains restrictive in Canada, there is the potential for farm gate sales for micros in the future as legalization potentially opening the door to licensed cannabis lounges, restaurants and cafes depending on provincial restrictions.

As for next steps for Canada, Trina Fraser co-managing partner and CannaLaw® group leader at Brazeau Seller Law is optimistic for the future of craft cannabis, “Hopefully the regulations will include implementation of previous proposals by the federal government, including ‘micro’ licences with lower regulatory burdens, clarity on security clearance requirements for prior illicit market participants and improved access for medical patients.”

It’s hard to know if legalization will truly be inclusive after almost a century of prohibition, whatever Canada does will set an example for the world. As the World Health Organization releases its pre-review for cannabis, according to Senior Policy Analyst for Transform Drug Policy Foundation and consultant for Health Canada’s legalization task force Steve Rolles, “This will have major repercussions at the UN.”

Rolles reflected that while the UN ignored Uruguay, and turned a blind eye to the US states, Canada is a major voice in the United Nations, so this will inevitably force the debate on drug policy reform back to center stage. “The malfunctioning and antiquated UN system is long overdue for some modernisation, so it comes a good moment. We hope the Canadian government can now show the same leadership at the UN they have shown domestically.”

Canadian Veterans Plan Lawsuit Over Medical Marijuana Funding Cuts


A group of Canadian veterans is planning to file a lawsuit over medical marijuana funding cuts by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC). In May of last year, the VAC reduced the amount of medicinal cannabis it would cover. Before that, the VAC would permit vets to use up to ten grams of medical marijuana per day. But the VAC dropped that permitted daily allotment to just three grams.

When the cut was enacted, more than 2,500 veterans nationwide had received permission to use more than three grams per day.



inRead invented by Teads

The advocacy group Veterans for Healing in Oromocto, New Brunswick is organizing the legal action. The vets plan to ask the court to rule that the VAC failed to live up to its responsibilities with the reduction.

David Lutz is the attorney representing the vets. He told local media that the veterans want the VAC to cover enough cannabis to eliminate the need for prescription drugs. They would also like to see the court restore funding for medical marijuana to previous levels.


“We are asking for a declaration by the court that reducing from 10 grams to three grams is a violation of the government’s obligation to the veterans,” Lutz said. “We need to make a new law here.”

Jamie Keating, a veteran living in St. John, will be a named plaintiff in the suit. He said that the VAC needs to honor its commitment to care for vets.

“It’s not about money, it’s about doing what’s right,” said Keating. “You can’t just cut vets off cold turkey when something works. If it was opiates, they wouldn’t be able to just stop.”

Soldiers Are Using Cannabis to Treat PTSD

Veterans like Keating are using medicinal cannabis to treat a variety of serious health conditions. Vets are finding relief from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), chronic pain, and anxiety with medical marijuana. So much so that prior to the cuts, payments for medical marijuana had grown to $60 million per year. That made cannabis the most expensive item in the VAC’s drug coverage program. But while costs for cannabis increased, payments for opioids and benzodiazepines dropped.

Seamus O’Regan, the Minister of Foreign affairs, said the cut in the medical marijuana benefit was more about science than money.


“We still have a heck of a lot of research to do when it comes to cannabis use and how it affects PTSD and other mental-health conditions,” O’Regan said.

To prepare for that argument in court, attorney Lutz said he is compiling anecdotal evidence on the efficacy of medical marijuana. He and his staff are in the process of interviewing up to 100 vets to learn about and document their experience with medical marijuana. Lutz noted that the vets participating in the lawsuit had to start taking other drugs when their coverage for cannabis was reduced to three grams daily.

“The theme here is plants, not pills,” Lutz said. “Medical marijuana has replaced every pill that these people were on before. I expect to be able to demonstrate that,” he said.

Ron Forrest is a vet who uses cannabis to treat PTSD and chronic pain. He also plans to be a plaintiff in the lawsuit. He said that for some veterans, access to medical cannabis is a matter of life or death.

“There was no reason for VAC to cut us back that drastically,” he said. “We had people kill themselves.”

Police Tweet Warning To Weed Smokers In Preparation for 4/20


With 4/20 right around the corner, the cannabis community has already begun to prepare itself. Surprisingly enough, the unofficial holiday dedicated to tokers around the world has a major impact on several facets society. Cannabis stocks are up, dispensary sales are on the rise and, on a less positive note, cannabis-centric law enforcement is in full effect. In fact, authorities are already starting to warn prospective participants of the holiday. One Kansas town appears to be taking said preemptive measures, as local police tweet warning to weed smokers in preparation for 4/20.

Early Warnings

The Lawrence police department remains proactive in their efforts to prevent stoned driving ahead of the stoner-centric holiday. They took to Twitter to warn the cannabis community of their vigilance, and its safe to say they did not mince words.

“Hey potheads planning to toke up on 4/20, stay off the roads,” the tweet said. “Stock up on Cheetos and Mt. Dew BEFORE you spark. Saturation patrols to find drugged drivers to occur.”

Attached to the tweet, was a release from the police department regarding their plans to ramp up patrol, as the number of high-drivers is expected to heavily increase on Friday.

According to the release, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma will collectively be on the lookout for impaired drivers throughout the 4/20 weekend. Particularly, on various highways throughout the aforementioned states.

View image on Twitter


Lawrence Police@LawrenceKS_PD

Hey potheads planning to toke up on 4/20, stay off the road. Stock up on Cheetos and Mt. Dew BEFORE you spark. Saturation patrols to find drugged drivers to occur-

6:43 AM - Apr 17, 2018

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“Law enforcement across the six-state area will be extra-vigilant when patrolling around city, state and federal highways. Injury and deaths continue to increase from both alcohol and drug-impaired drivers.” Lawrence police said in the release. “Regardless whether a drug is legal or illegal it’s a serious crime to drive while impaired by any drug.”

Final Hit: Police Tweet Warning To Weed Smokers In Preparation for 4/20

While it is certainly important to regulate driving under the influence of marijuana, it’s no coincidence that this stern warning is coming from a police department in a state which still employees some of the most stringent-marijuana laws in the country.

Kansas still remains behind the eight-ball in terms of marijuana legalization, and medicinal cannabis has yet to be legalized. In fact, one Republican lawmaker from Kansas recently found himself in hot water after justifying marijuana prohibition with abhorrent racial remarks.

“One of the reasons why [they outlawed cannabis], I hate to say it,” Representative Steve Alford said back in January, “was that the African Americans, they were basically users and they basically responded the worst off to those drugs just because of their character makeup, their genetics and that.”


While this notion certainly doesn’t represent the entire state’s view on cannabis, it certainly doesn’t do it justice. Hopefully, Kansas changes its tune on legalizing the plant sooner, rather than later.

Man Fired For Smoking Weed Gets His Job Back With Bonus Compensation


The question of how employers will handle drug tests grows more complicated as cannabis becomes legal in more places. This is especially true in Canada right now, as full legalization is on the immediate horizon. Most recently, as a man fired for smoking weed gets his job back with bonus compensation in Thunder Bay, Ontario, many of these questions are coming into better focus.

Weed Smoker Gets His Job Back

In October 2017, two workers at Bombardier Transportation were fired after a supervisor said he saw them smoking weed at work. More specifically, the supervisor said he saw the men taking their afternoon break outdoors. He said he smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from their direction and saw smoke.

Further, the supervisor said that when he approached the men, he saw one of them toss something to the ground. The object smoldered and then went out. However, the supervisor was unable to find anything when he searched the ground.

Despite not finding any physical evidence, the supervisor brought the two men to Human Resources. Throughout the entire incident, the two men insisted that they hadn’t been smoking weed. They also said that they would probably fail a drug test since they smoked at home on their own time. Regardless, the company fired both men.

Now, a few months later, one of the men has been reinstated. His co-worker’s case is still ongoing. But for the man who got his job back, things have worked out pretty well.


The arbitrator handling his case said that Bombardier Transportation did not have just cause to fire him. As a result, the company was required to give him his job back with no loss of seniority. Additionally, the company had to compensate the man for lost income during his months of unemployment.

“He was not seen smoking, exhaling, or disposing of drugs or paraphernalia,” arbitrator Paul Craven told TB News Watch. “The company has not demonstrated that it is more probable that the grievor smoked marijuana on its property on October 5 than he did not.”

Final Hit: Man Fired For Smoking Weed Gets His Job Back With Bonus Compensation

Along with citing lack of evidence, Craven also brought up the issue of Canada’s pending legalization. Similarly, he cited concerns with drug testing protocols. In particular, Craven said that drug tests do not accurately determine whether or not a person is impaired at the time the test is administered.

“It has become notorious that current tests for cannabinoids are incapable of demonstrating either present impairment or recent consumption,” he said. He added that companies like Bombardier “might well consider other more reliable methods of assessing impairment and/or alternative policy approaches to the problem of marijuana use in the workplace.”

Ultimately, this case also highlights questions about employment and legal weed. Canada is preparing for federal legalization, which is scheduled to occur sometime this summer. In the age of legalization, many have wondered if it makes sense to allow companies to screen employees or potential employees for marijuana use. This particular case suggests that policy could be moving toward protecting cannabis users.

Canadian Province Lays Out Harsh Penalties For Illegal Weed Sales


Not all weed will be legal in Canada by the end of this summer. As the federal government gives provinces the green light to implement local marijuanaregulation, this Canadian province lays out harsh penalties for illegal weed sales, impaired driving, selling to the underaged, and where you can smoke. Following legalization, Nova Scotia will be cracking down on weed.

A Brief Overview of Canadian Legalization

Last year, Canadian officials introduced legislation that would legalize marijuana by summer 2018. Though this projection was a little optimistic, it looks like the Canadian Parliament will cast the final vote in early July.

This means that by September, the sale, cultivation and use of recreational marijuana will be legal everywhere. Canadians over 18 years old can have up to 30 grams of cannabis, grow a maximum of four marijuana plants and buy marijuana from licensed stores.

However, national legislation (Bill C-45) does not specify who will have cannabis licenses, where it can be sold, where you can smoke it or how the police will enforce it. The provinces are left to determine these regulations.

Nova Scotia’s Cannabis Control Act

Nova Scotia’s Justice Minister Mark Furey proposed the Cannabis Control Act on Tuesday. If passed, this legislation will have some serious consequences for people who use or sell marijuana.

The Cannabis Control Act includes measures that address driving under the influence, selling marijuana (especially to the underaged) and smoking in rented properties.


Driving Under the Influence

Under this Cannabis Control Act, neither the driver nor passengers can smoke marijuana in a car. The minimum fine for doing so is $1,000 but can go as high as $2,000. The police will suspend the driver’s license for a year for the first offense.

The consequences for the second offense are even more extreme. If caught driving under the influence in Nova Scotia, a second offender is looking at a minimum of thirty days in jail and over a year with a suspended license.

Whether or not to charge someone with driving under the influence is at the police’s discretion. Per the Cannabis Control Act, the Nova Scotia police can test your saliva or blood. They can also suspend someone’s license for weeks at a time.

The only legal way to transport weed in a car will be in a sealed container. These laws will also apply to other motorized vehicles.

Justice Minister Furey told CBC News, “Let me be clear, driving while high is not only dangerous, it is a crime and the legislation provides strong sanctions for those who drive while impaired.”


Only The Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. Can Sell Weed

Not only are the driving regulations intense, but Canadian province lays out harsh penalties for illegal weed sales. As is the case in Quebec, the provincial government will have a monopoly on weed sales. To ensure this remains the case, the Cannabis Control Act has some harsh penalties for those selling weed illegally.

Stores caught selling weed will face fines ranging from a $10,000 minimum to $25,000. Individuals selling weed are fined $10,000. Buying cannabis from an illegal retailer earns a maximum of $250 fine.

Furey justifies that these policies aren’t that different from what’s currently in place. “Dispensaries are illegal presently, dispensaries will be illegal once legislation is rolled out,” he explains.

Fines For Selling Weed to the Underaged

Justice Minister Furey told the press, “Our main priority has been the health and safety of Nova Scotians, especially children and youth.” This seems to be true as the Cannabis Control Act includes some hefty fines for selling weed to people under 19.

Per Nova Scotia law, only people aged 19 and up will be allowed to purchase weed. This is in line with the drinking age in Nova Scotia. The legal age for cannabis and alcohol in Canada ranges from 18 to 19 depending on the province.

The fine for selling to someone under 19 can be up to $10,000. For people under 19, the fine for marijuana possession is $150. Additionally, the police will issue fines to anyone selling drug accoutrements–rolling papers, bongs…–to the underage.

Enforcing These Policies Will Require More Resources

Even Furey admits that the Cannabis Control Act as it is today will require more police work. “We may see a spike in [enforcement],” Furey told CBC News.

Nova Scotia isn’t the only province having to pay for enforcing strict legalization laws. Ontario recently pledged $40 million dollars to fund law enforcement agencies ahead of legalization. Though legalization is supposed to diminish police spending, this hasn’t always been true in practice.

Final Hit: Canadian Province Lays Out Harsh Penalties For Illegal Weed Sales

As this Canadian province lays out harsh penalties for illegal weed sales, driving while high and selling to the underage, everyone is looking to see how Canada implements, and enforces, marijuana legalization.

Some organizations, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), are in favor of Nova Scotia’s new policies. MADD CEO Andrew Murie puts forth, “What we do for alcohol, we should be doing for cannabis. Impairment by drugs by alcohol or a combination is the same.”

Though cannabis and alcohol will be equally legal under Canadian law, cannabis is facing harsher legislation. For instance, the Cannabis Control Act will also permit landlords to ban smoking weed. Public places will also bar marijuana consumption.



Legal Marijuana Sales Could Surpass Soda Sales by 2030


Experts are predicting a huge increase in marijuana sales. According to Cowen & Co, a research company, U.S. marijuana sales will rise to $75 billion in the next twelve years. As soda’s popularity wanes, legal marijuana sales could surpass soda sales by 2030.

Weed Is More Popular Than Ever. Soda Isn’t.

Recreational marijuana is legal in 9 states, and more are expected to follow suit this year. In addition to these states that allow recreational marijuana use, medical marijuana accessibility is on the rise. According to Bloomberg, over 1/5 of Americans can smoke the herb whenever they want.

More Americans and Canadians than ever are taking advantage of legalization. In 2016, Americans and Canadians combined spend $53.3 billion on weed. This makes Cowen & Co’s initial report that the marijuana market will make $50 billion annually by 2026 alone seem low.

The soft drink market is experiencing the opposite trend. North American soda consumption fell to a 31-year low in 2017. Euromonitor International calculated that the soft drink market went from $78.3 billion in 2016 to $76.4 billion in 2017.

Data analysts expect the trend towards weed, which has numerous health benefits, and away from sugary soft drinks to continue.


Predicted Weed Sales in 2030

This means big profits for legal recreational weed. Noting the sharp increase in weed consumption, Cowen & Co amended its initial prediction of $50 billion per year. Analyst Vivien Azer tells Bloomberg, “New forecasts suggest that the market is already that size.”

The firm now predicts that the weed market will earn $75 billion by 2030. This is closely behind the soft drink market in 2017, which made $76.4 billion. Furthermore, experts expect the profits reaped by soft drink companies to diminish while the weed industry grows.

Will Weed Impact Alcohol Sales?

Legal marijuana sales could surpass soda sales by 2030 not because weed is replacing soda, but because people are considering healthier options. Comparatively, marijuana legalization could have a direct impact on alcohol sales.

Two studies suggest that marijuana reduces, rather than increases, alcohol consumption as was previously believed. Published in 2017, Helping Settle the Marijuana and Alcohol Debate: Evidence from Scanner Data looks at the correlation between the two. This study found that legalizing marijuana reduced alcohol sales by 13.8 to 16.2 percent. the study concludes, “We find that marijuana and alcohol are strong substitutes.”

A second study only recorded data from states where medical marijuana is legal. Researchers still discovered that legal medical marijuana decreased alcohol sales. Georgia State University economics professor Alberto Chong explains, “The drop in [alcohol] sales is so huge—it’s like 13 percent—that there has to be some leakage.”

Liquor companies are well aware of the negative impact recreational marijuana can have on liquor sales. California’s Proposition 19, failed to pass in 2010 due to the efforts of the liquor lobby. Wikileaks divulged that Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America contributed to political forces against legalization.


Final Hit: Legal Marijuana Sales Could Surpass Soda Sales by 2030

It’s hard to imagine the scale or the effects that legal marijuana will have in the near future. With federal legalization, marijuana sales could eclipse soft drink sales and take a chunk out of the alcohol industry’s profits. But for the time being, it looks like marijuana will be making $75 billion annually in twelve years.

This City in Canada Wants To Ban All Public Cannabis Consumption


Months away from national legal recreational marijuana, this city in Canada wants to ban all public cannabis consumption. Lawmakers in Calgary, the capital and largest city in Alberta, and hoping to pass a bylaw that would only allow marijuana smoking indoors.

The Bylaw: What We Know So Far

If approved, Calgary residents would face $50 to $100 in fines in caught smoking marijuana outside. The only place where residents would be able to consumer cannabis would be a private home.

If passed by a council committee, this law would strictly limit legal cannabis consumption. If you live in an apartment or don’t own your home, you may not be able to smoke indoors in the first place.

This legislation would not apply to those with medical marijuana licenses or to specifically designated ‘cannabis gardens’. The concept behind these spaces is similar to a beer garden. They will also be strictly regulated.

So far, the rule for a cannabis smoking area is that it has to be separate from beer and cigarette designed areas.


You’ll also have to bring your own weed because Alberta law dictates that you can’t smoke cannabis in the same place where you bought it.

The Problem With Banning Outdoor Cannabis Use

This law will be difficult, and probably costly, to enforce. How do you distinguish between medical and recreational users? To police everyone smoking marijuana outside will require more police and more government funds.

Les Hagen, described as a tobacco control advocate by the Calgary Herald, argues, “We think it’s [the bylaw] impractical. It’ll lead to widespread violations and stigmatization as well. Anyone who is using cannabis in public, it will be seen as breaking the law.”

Not only does would this legislation be difficult to enforce, but it would also stigmatize a substance that will be completely legal by the end of the summer. This is just one example of how provincial governments are discriminating against cannabis, despite upcoming legalization.

Others are critiquing this measure for unjustly limited legal cannabis consumption for those living in shared spaces and for those who do not own homes.


Even Those Supporting This Legislation See Its Flaws

City Council member Shane Keating supports this legislation but believes that the city should create spaces for outdoor marijuana use. Keating explains, “I have no sympathy for those who deem that they have to smoke cannabis regardless of how it affects others around them.”

This does not, however, mean that Keating is completely against cannabis. He believes that edibles and inhalers are a better solution, though the former won’t be legal until 2019.

Keating is in favor of cannabis-specific locations, describing, “There may need to be certain places where you consume it like a lounge.” This sort of policy is already in place in Ontario.

Marijuana Divides Calgary Residents

This city in Canada wants to ban all public cannabis consumption, though its residents are conflicted on the matter. In a report on cannabis published in February, 55 percent of Calgary residents surveyed supported regulating marijuana like alcohol. This would mean barring public consumption. Only 32 percent voted to treat cannabis like tobacco in public places.

Contrastingly, 43 percent those surveyed in late 2017 voted to permit outdoor cannabis use. 19 percent of Calgary residents in that survey hoped that cannabis would be controlled like alcohol.

Final Hit: This City in Canada Wants To Ban All Public Cannabis Consumption

Next week, a committee will decide on the legislation that would ban public marijuana consumption in Calgary.

Considering the restriction already placed on indoor cannabis consumption, some are saying that this bylaw is impractical. It would also be a step in the wrong direction in terms of cannabis tolerance.

With Calgary residents divided on the issue of outdoor smoking, we’ll have to wait and see what happens next week.

Canadian Insurance Company Adds Medical Marijuana Coverage


Canada’s medical marijuana patients may soon find their medication covered by Sun Life Financial, thanks to a new plan under consideration by the Toronto-based insurance provider.

Dean Connor, Chief Executive Officer for Sun Life Financial, announced last week that the company’s move to include medical marijuana coverage was driven by an elevated interest from Sun Life’s Canadian clientele.

View image on Twitter


For Canadian patients battling a wide spectrum of debilitating ailments, “medical marijuana has become a very important part of their treatment and pain management program,” Connor explained.

In the Great White North, roughly 235,621 patients are enrolled in Canada’s medical marijuana program as of September 2017. In a province-by-province analysis, Alberta and Ontario both witnessed a noteworthy increase in the total number of medical marijuana patients. In Alberta, 60,479 people were registered as medical marijuana patients as of April 2017. By September, the number of patients had increased to 91,150 — an increase of more than 30,000.

View image on Twitter


Cannabis At Work@cannabisatwork

Health Canada has released their newest market data for medical cannabis, showing a continued increase in patient enrollments. 235,621 active registrations were recorded up to September 30, 2017. The most registrations in Ontario, Alberta and Nova Scotia.

1:41 PM - Jan 23, 2018

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On March 1, 2018, patrons of Sun Life’s plan will have the option “to add medical cannabis coverage to extended health-care plans, ranging from $1,500 to $6,000 per covered person per year,” according to the Financial Post.

Jonathan Zaid, the 24-year-old executive director of Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana, was cautiously optimistic about the news.

“Although there may not be an immediate benefit for patients as specific plan sponsors will need to purchase the coverage, this move will make covering medical cannabis simpler than today’s exception process and speaks volumes to the broader acceptance and legitimacy of medical cannabis,” Zaid noted.

Currently, Canadian medical marijuana patients who wish to have their medication reimbursed by insurance must request an exception for coverage of medications not on the list of eligible benefits, while some plans offer no coverage at all.

While the Canadian company’s plan excludes some qualifying conditions, the insurer’s new offering is a step forward for Canada’s licensed medical marijuana patients.

Manulife Financial Corp., one of Canada’s largest healthcare insurers, also provides insurance coverage for Canada’s medical marijuana patients suffering from debilitating spasticity and neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis.

Recreational Marijuana in Canada Will Be Delayed


There’s bad news for those hoping to blaze up north this summer. Today, the Canadian federal government announced that recreational marijuana in Canada will be delayed. The government will not cast the final vote on bill C-45 until July 7th. And it will take 8 to 12 weeks following that vote for Canada’s provinces and territories to prepare their own policies and infrastructure for retail marijuana sales.

It seems that Justin Trudeau’s prediction that Canada would legalize weed by July 1st was overly optimistic.

What is bill C-45?

Two significant bills comprise Canada’s marijuana legalization initiative introduced last year on April 14thC-45 and C-46. The first one legislates the sale, cultivation, and use of marijuana. The second one toughens laws to stop driving under the influence. On July 7th, the Canadian Senate will be voting on C-45, the more contentious of the two bills.

Under these new laws, Canadians 18 and older can have up to 30 grams of cannabis, purchase weed from licensed retail locations, and grow up to four marijuana plants.

Why the delay?

Politics. The conservative Tory party has been pushing for more time to study the impacts of legal weed on law enforcement, national health, and minors. Conservatives view the July 7th date—as opposed to the May date proposed by Senate liberal Peter Harder—as a victory.

The police force, too, asked for more time to prepare for implementing this new legislation. They also requested that the government rethink letting people grow their own marijuana at home.


After hearing the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police’s concerns and passing bill C-45, the federal government will still require royal assent to implement the bill. Since Canada is a part of the British Commonwealth, a representative of the Queen of England must give a bill royal assent for it to become an Act of Parliament. This won’t really slow down the process, but it is an extra-legal step.

Next, each territory and province creates its own policy to implement bill C-45. This means that provinces and territories have to vote on local legislation and build infrastructure before weed hits the market. For example, provinces can set their own age restrictions for cannabis, like they do with tobacco. Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor estimates that this will take eight to twelve weeks.

Only after legislation passes the federal, provincial and commonwealth levels can Canadians buy marijuana. In all likelihood, this won’t happen until late August or September.

The Consequences of Delaying Recreational Marijuana

The fact that recreational marijuana in Canada will be delayed will take a toll on summer fun and legal marijuana sales. For starters, you won’t be able to legally celebrate Canada day, July 1st, with the THC session and ounces of weed it deserves. This means another beautiful summer without recreational cannabis. Legally, of course.

More seriously, though, experts value the illegal marijuana industry at $7 billion in Canada alone. As long as cannabis is illegal recreationally, much of this money will go to organized crime, instead of boosting local, taxpaying business. Concerned by the economic consequences of this delay, Independent Senator Tony Dean from Ontario proposed imposing a time limit on conservatives if they delay voting further.


Final Hit: The Good News about Canadian Cannabis

Few are surprised that recreational marijuana in Canada will be delayed. Luckily, the majority of Canadians, the Prime Minister, and the Liberal party support legalization. This means that it’s not a question of if, but when, Canadians will smoke freely. And it looks like not until the end of this summer